She's A Jar

Album: Summerteeth (1999)

Songfacts®:

  • Wilco's Jeff Tweedy engages in some serious lyrical ambiguity with "She's A Jar." The song appears to be about a women reluctant to commit to being with Tweedy, but at the same time, she is unable to end the relationship. It is likely Tweedy is referring to his wife, who was hesitant to continue their relationship because of Wilco's extensive touring: "She's a jar. With a heavy lid. My pop quiz kid. A sleepy kisser. With feelings hid. She begs me not to miss her."
  • Some of the more abstract lyrics from "She's A Jar", such as "Please beware, the quiet front yard," stem from the surrealist writing technique, cadavre exquis, which Wilco tried out while on tour. A typewriter was set up in the band's tour bus, so that members could take turns typing lyrics, the catch being the current writer could only see the previously typed line.
  • Tweedy's wife, Sue Miller, was reluctant to endorse this track, particularly due to the line: "She begs me not to hit her." Miller elaborated to Greg Kot in his book, Wilco: Learning How To Die: "Obviously Jeff has never hit me. And I know I have to give Jeff his creative license. And I have no way of knowing whether he could have written as cool and brilliant an album without having to go through everything he went through that year. I think that's one of our most common myths, that artists have to me miserable to be creative. I don't think that's true. I hope it's not true. I don't wish that kind of misery on anyone."
  • This song is one of many darkly-themed tracks on Summerteeth, an album which is marked by Jeff Tweedy's "bold, depressing lyrics." Tweedy's sadness is said to have been a result of not being able to see his family due to Wilco's excessive touring at the time.

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